Author Archives: Annie

About Annie

I am a 44 year-old woman with a handful of 1/2 marathons behind me. I live in an idyllic setting in the Swan Mountains in NW Montana with my husband, son and mini-schnauzer and our new puppy, a german wire-haired pointing griffon. I am a certified coach with the International Coach Federation and also a licensed marriage and family therapist. I came to this profession as a second career. After spending almost 15 years as Executive Assistant for various small and large financial services firms, I finished my Bachelor's at Smith College and completed my Master's at PLU in WA. I received my coach training through Seattle Coach in Seattle, WA.

For Steve – on the Death of his Mom

…my mother-in-law passed away on October 1, 2018.
My husband was with her during


Doris and Steven Ricci 2017

her last days and there for her last breath.  He shared with me his experiences and his precious moments of that time.  I crafted this poem for him and he read it at her memorial service.


You smiled with love and held onto my face.

We chatted about everyone and every place.

You came in and out, not always quite there.

I watched over you and gently stroked your hair.

They were both easy and hard, those last few days.

When you called me “little asshole”, I knew you were okay.

We laughed and we cried and we hugged and we kissed.

I held on to each moment even as I felt my world shift.

I felt the change take over your breath.

And my heart thudded like stone in my chest.

I held your thin and lovely face in my hands.

And I kissed it with all the love that I had.

I saw you. Mother. Friend. Woman. Wife.

I felt the dignity you had every day of your life.

I thanked you and told you we would all be okay.

I said we would miss you but that you could go today.

Go and be with Daddy, and Papa, and Non.

Go.  And know that you were the very best mom.

~annie ricci~

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Posted by on November 9, 2018 in Uncategorized



Close your eyes and know I am here
Holding you tight, chasing away your fear
Ohhhh, sweet boy, don’t grow so fast
Shhhh, sweet boy, the dark won’t last

You’re in my arms safe and sound
I feel your heart beating, feel it pound
Snuggle in, sweet boy, I’ll tell a story
About your adventures, sweet boy

About you running, jumping, climbing trees
And going full-speed and getting stung by bees
Breathe easy, sweet boy, let your whole self rest
Keep kitty close, sweet boy, tight to your chest

Sleep is winning the” I’m-not-tired” war
Your lids are heavy and dreams aren’t far
Quiet now, sweet boy, slumber and snore
Tomorrow, sweet boy, we’ll play even more

~for my sweet boy, Hunter~


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Posted by on August 16, 2018 in Letters To My Son, Motherhood, Poetry


Another Mother’s Day Approaches

Dear Hunter,IMG_0260

You are five and a half years old already.  I can’t begin to tell you how much you’ve grown since you first came into my life.  Your head reaches well past my belly button now.  You’ve shaved your own head (on Christmas Eve, no less) and it’s finally time for you to get a real haircut again.  You will finish preschool in a few weeks and spend the summer turning blonde and brown all at the same time.

You exasperate me and exhaust me.  You amaze me with your love of the outdoors and your knowledge of animals.  You are able to reason with me and think.  You argue with me all the time.  All. The.  Time.   You are fearless.  Riding your bicycle or riding your quad, you are always pushing the limits of safety…and my faith in helmets.

Pretty soon we will celebrate “Mother’s Day.”  Your dad wants to know what I want to do.  And I am not all that sure.  For me, it’s mother’s day every day.  Loads of laundry, driving you to school and t-ball and jujitsu make up part of every day for this mother.  So does the love you give me and the faith you have in my love.

You are why I celebrate Mother’s Day every day, Hunter.  I prayed for you to come into existence.  I dreamed of you.  I saw you before I ever knew you were on the way.  You are my little light growing into a beacon.   You make me want to be a better mom and a better person, sweetheart.IMG_0387



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Posted by on May 6, 2018 in Uncategorized


Little One, You Are Loved

“I am not going to love you, Mom.”

“That’s fine, honey, I love you no matter what.”

“NO! REALLY MOM!!!! I am never loving you again! REALLY.”

You were mad. You went to bed in your bed for the first time. And you were scared. Mad and scared. You cried yourself to sleep.

Shortly, you cried out, “Mommy!! I am so scared!!” I came and carried you to our bed. You slept snuggled up to me all night.

In the morning, you said, “Mama, I thought about what I said last night about not loving you. And I am sorry. I love you mommy.”

“My sweet little one. I love you no matter what. You are loved more than you’ll ever know.”

You are five years old. Everything is a big deal. I will let you feel your feelings. And I will love you through them. I will always comfort you.



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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in Uncategorized


Summer 2017

My soul soaks in the song
As white wisps float fantastically
In the hot blue sky
And the sun prickles the
Pigment of my skin.


Long drives on rambling roads
Where worn rubber presses
Tightly against scorched pavement
And I pass green-gold fields
Full of promise.


I smell sun-baked pine needles
And watch glinting waves
Lick the rocky mountain lake shore
as the raging river full of
spring-melted snow slows
And becomes one with the lake.


Periwinkle Fleabane blooms
At the dust-choked, sun-drenched
Trailhead and feeds the bumble bee
Drifting from blossom to blossom.


The desert-like mountain heat
stops the clock and the
Bear Grass stands at ram-rod
Attention saluting the sky.


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Posted by on July 9, 2017 in Uncategorized


The Best Dad

The best dad says he’s sorry
when he loses his temper
when he overreacts or
says a mean thing.

The best dad says I Love You
when the sun rises
when the skies open with rain
when day turns to night.

The best dad shows
what hard work looks like
what loving a mom means
what patience is.

The best dad admits
his faults
his joys
his hurts.

The best dad knows
your faults
your joys
your hurts.

The best dad encourages
your dreams
your exploration

The best dad cries
when you cry
when you have tears of happiness
when you grow up and go.

The best dad stands
up for you
between you and any danger
with you.

The best dad teaches

you have the best dad.
~annie ricci~

Love, Mom

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Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Uncategorized


Candy Hearts

Dear Hunter,

It has happened about three times now.  You are deep in sleep around four in the morning and you throw your arm around me, snuggle up like a spoon behind me and say, “I love you, mama.”   The sweetest words from the sweetest sleep-voice there ever was.  My heart can barely hold all the love I feel in those pre-dawn confessions.

You got some candy hearts for Valentine’s Day this week and you ask me what each one says before you eat it. Be Mine. Hugs. Kiss Me. And you pop each one in your mouth saying, “Mmmmm this one is good.”  You crack me up, kiddo.

You are my candy heart, my little valentine-light-bearer. And I will cherish your midnight murmurs, holding them in my soul, forever.

Thank you, son.

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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

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